Why such dull colours? Oh I forgot, it's created by programmers :-P

I'm not by any means a designer, but from my art background I can tell you that changing the orange top-bar of stackoverflow, you've caused a collapse of the design regarding the rest of the colours. The design needs the orange top bar and not a grey one.

If there's one thing I hate about programmers (or interface designers) its their denial of colour and their imposition of their insipid dull-arsed taste on the rest of us.

  • 2
    What are you talking about? The notification bar still is orange, and the grey header bar was always grey -- it's just spanning the whole width now.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Aug 7, 2010 at 11:15
  • "James, I think you need to wear an orange suit instead of that dull crap you're wearing. Oh, I forgot, it was chosen by a programmer." That's how your message really looks, isn't that?
    – P Shved
    Aug 7, 2010 at 14:03
  • 2
    The only thing here that should have bright, fancy colors are unicorns. Aug 7, 2010 at 15:00
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    @James - You took a valid point and presented it in a manner that maximizes the chance of destroying any serious consideration or discussion of that valid point. Aug 7, 2010 at 17:00
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    If there's one thing I hate about programmers (or interface designers) its their denial of colour and their imposition of their insipid dull-arsed taste on the rest of us. - Stack Overflow is a programming Q&A site for... and this is the surprising part, programmers! Your complaint that the interface is geared towards programmers is ridiculous. "the rest of [you]" aren't programmers, so what are you doing there?
    – Andy E
    Aug 9, 2010 at 12:04
  • 1
    You forgot the unicorns.
    – Benjol
    Aug 9, 2010 at 12:29
  • I'm a programmer and I agree with the OP that the colors are kind of dull, and the SO site could be more coloured. On the other hand it does not bother me. Maybe when spending more the time on the site dull colours will save your eyes :-)
    – Tomas
    Nov 30, 2011 at 17:29

5 Answers 5


OK, so you don't like the colors, fine.

So provide us with a mockup or CSS of what you think would look better. That'd be more constructive than just complaining.

  • 1
    We should, like, totally have a Stack Overflow Redesign Contest. Aug 8, 2010 at 13:40
  • 2
    @BoltClock YES. I'll go post a non-CW question on SO right now asking what the best design would look like. I'll tag it [subjective] and [poll] so nobody gets upset Aug 8, 2010 at 15:24
  • 1
    @Michael Mrozek: I'll upvote it and post something made in MS Paint in five minutes. It'll be a winner. Aug 10, 2010 at 20:26

As balpha said, the bar was always grey; if it were the standard SO orange it would look like this:

Screenshot of the SO homepage with an orange top-bar

I'll go ahead and cast a vote now for not making it look like that

NB: I'm a programmer and lack any form of an art background, so it's possible my dislike of the above stems from my denial of colour and my imposition of my insipid dull-arsed taste on the rest of you

  • The SO site is in fact pretty dull in appearance. I don't think the orange bar would help, but a little more color would. For example there are multiple items (tags AND titles) that are blue. Just changing the color scheme of one of those would help. Aug 7, 2010 at 16:54
  • @Peter I believe it used to have more color in the beta, and it was taken out at some point Aug 7, 2010 at 17:32

I disagree completely; the SO interface is clear and provides all the information its users need. In particular, the absence of Orange on the page makes the appearance of an Orange alert across the top catch one's eye, like an alert should.

If the top-bar was Orange, one may not notice when Orange alerts appear at the top of the screen.

If you really want more color, you could use SO through some sort of Geocities-izer proxy. The result isn't that bad:

Stack Overflow put through a Geocities-izer; there's supposed to be a midi version of "I'm blue" playing in the background.


  • 2
    Yep. That's very much not dull... Aug 7, 2010 at 20:50
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    Is that a randomly thrown in Bill Gates photo? - I hope there's a lot of blinking elements - ooooooh music! Aug 7, 2010 at 23:49
  • ahhhhhh! music, blinking text! rainbow colored titles! pictures of celebrities! WOW
    – studiohack
    Aug 8, 2010 at 2:17
  • 1
    @studiohack - your mention of music reminds me that when I took the screen shot a midi version of "Blue" by Eiffel 65 was being played. Aug 8, 2010 at 4:06
  • That is such a cool site! Just tried the bbc news site on it wonder-tonic.com/geocitiesizer/…
    – Benjol
    Aug 9, 2010 at 12:23

I do not come to Stack Overflow to be "Wowed" by the color scheme.

I want an unobtrusive, information dense, easy to navigate layout and color selection.

In short, "dull" is not exactly a goal, but "exciting" is definitely bad.

Oh, and

If there's one thing I hate about programmers (or interface designers) its their denial of colour and their imposition of their insipid dull-arsed taste on the rest of us.

::insert your favorite rude dismissal::


I say, seriously, get a life. When I visit these so-called "dull, colorless'' sites, I'm here to learn, organize, and share information, not to appreciate art and design...besides, more graphics or bright colors would be very distracting and detract from the main purpose of the site. And I'm not even a programmer. Just a geek and photographer, thankyouverymuch.

and if that bar was orange, ugh, that would really be a glareful.

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